Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Canterbury Tales, The (1972)

Canterbury Tales, The (1972)

Coming between The Decameron and Arabian Nights in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s classic tales trilogy, this bawdy adaptation of Chaucer’s 14th-century masterpiece outraged the purists.

Pasolini celebrates almost every conceivable form of sexual act with a rich, earthy humour.


Glorying in the filth and vulgarity of medieval life and the physical and moral grotesqueness of the characters, this is a film teeming with life and insight.

Pasolini also guests as Chaucer himself, accompanying a party of pilgrims who relieve the tedium of their journey to Beckett’s shrine with a variety of tales.

Despite winning the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, though, it is often ruinously self-indulgent.


Geoffrey Chaucer
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Tom Baker
Wife of Bath
Laura Betti
JP Van Dyne
Derek Deadman
Host of the Tabard
George Bethell Datch
Sir January
Hugh Griffith
Josephine Chaplin
Oscar Fochetti
Franco Citti

Pier Paolo Pasolini